How Does EMV Impact Restaurant Chargebacks?

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EMV chargebacks

It appears that there have been more chargebacks than anticipated, in the last year or so.

Regardless of EMV, chargebacks are a part of running a restaurant. Fortunately though, having a greater understanding of how to deal with (and even prevent) chargebacks can help – perhaps even more than EMV!

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers…

What is a chargeback?

In a few words: guilty until proven innocent, your restaurant that is.

Your guest has disputed a transaction and depending on the reason for it – fraud, processor error, etc. – the issuing bank automatically debits the transaction amount. The debit can be reversed if the dispute is found to be false.

How will my processor notify me?

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In general, chargebacks require an immediate response. However, for your restaurant to respond you first need to know how your processor will notify you. The best way to find that out? Ask.

Can I avoid this “chargeback” thing all together?”

There are some best practices that restaurant owners can take to avoid chargebacks, with or without EMV, but it requires prevention at the time of transaction.

You should always…

  • Swipe non-chip cards through your terminal.
  • Process chip cards as chip transactions.
  • In the event a card is declined, ask for another form of payment—don’t re-swipe or override.
  • Match the last four numbers of the card.
  • Verify the signature on the card.

When processing a chip card, don’t forget to…

  • Follow the instructions on your terminal.
  • Be mindful that you’re not protected if a chip card is swiped or keyed in.

How does a restaurant stay secure without EMV?

Two words: staff training.

Spotting counterfeit cards has always been important, but now more than ever it’s going to take a cautious eye.

Teach your staff to know what to look for. If you see…

  • A damaged magnetic stripe: Ask to see guest identification or simply request another card.
  • A microprint: This will duplicate the first or last four numbers of the account number. This small detail is said to catch over 80% of counterfeit cards. Look to be sure they match up.
  • A hologram sticker: This is pretty difficult to duplicate and easy for staff to notice. If the sticker is on a forged card, it likely has a dull two-dimensional look.

This article contributed by Theresa Navarra from Upserve